The inhabitants of the ||Kharas Region have welcomed the draft of the Data Protection Bill, saying it's long overdue.
They spoke on the sidelines of a regional consultative meeting on the draft bill, conducted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at Keetmanshoop.
"The so-called Data Protection Bill actually comes at the right time, 32 years after independence, going for 33 years, but we are 32, and the Bill intends to protect our privacy. That is the understanding that we have been hearing today through the presentation. I have picked up that there are many things that we as the general public or the laymen in Namibia don't know about your privacy, what other people have to do with it, and some of the information that they are not supposed to have," said Harry Tjihukununa, from the Environment, Forestry, and Tourism Ministry.
Another participant, Emma Abed, explained that she learned about her rights during the meeting. "I have learned about my rights as a human being, as well as when it comes to the data, how it is protected and how I am also protected, and also when it comes to consent, what are my rights and all of that, so really, it has been informative, and right now I am looking forward to seeing that this bill will be pushed and it will become an act that will protect not just me, but my family, my nation."
The Data Protection Bill aims to ensure that individuals have control over their personal data and that other entities handle it responsibly.
Following the passage of the bill, a regulatory authority will be established to govern the collection, use, and protection of personal data.
The Deputy Director of the ICT Ministry, Elizabeth Kamutuezu, described the Bill as unique.
"This law is unique because it gives the right to privacy, and all of us need privacy regardless of our circumstances, whether we are youth, young, rich, poor, or whoever."
Regional consultations on the draft Data Protection Bill were also conducted in the Kavango East, Erongo, Oshana, and Kunene regions.